Slug: NLNG spends 1.2 billion on 3246 Scholarship beneficiaries

By Innocent Eteng
The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has spent at least N1.2 billion financing the education of 3246 indigenes who are beneficiaries of its scholarship scheme.

This was revealed on Wednesday, October 10, in Port Harcourt during the celebration of the company’s first Scholars Day, in commemoration of its educational intervention targeted, mostly, at indigenes of its host communities.

According to Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director, the money was spread over a period of 20 years (1998-2018) on different scholarship schemes that include post-primary scholarship (secondary education), undergraduate scholarship and postgraduate scholarship.

Breaking down the numbers, Mai-Bornu said within the said period, 2,956 scholars benefited from the undergraduate category, 222 from the post-primary category and 68 from the postgraduate category – all studying in the United Kingdom.

The high number of undergraduate beneficiaries, Mia-Bornu explained, was because until 2012, the post-primary and postgraduate categories were not incorporated into the scheme.

Meanwhile, 12 of the postgraduate scholars received their awards yesterday under the 2018 batch. Each postgraduate beneficiary receives between USD$45,000 (N16, 200 000) and USD$67,500 (N24,300 000) yearly.

“The NLNG Post-Primary Scholarship started in 2012 to help high performing Primary six pupils in our host communities to access secondary education. The scheme started with 28 beneficiaries and in 2017, this number grew to 222 beneficiaries with a total sum of about N800 million spent to date.  Twenty-six [26] of the pioneer scholars of this scheme completed their secondary education in June this year and some have been admitted into various courses in different universities,” he said.

Continuing: “The NLNG Post Graduate Scholarship programme was put in place to support the emergence of Nigerian experts in such fields as Environmental Studies, Engineering, Management, Accountancy, Economics, Information Technology, Geology, Banking, Law and Medicine. The scheme was launched in October 2012 with an annual intake of between 10 and 15 beneficiaries to study in leading universities in the United Kingdom.

“The value of the scholarship is between USD$45,000 and USD$67,500 per awardee each year, depending on the course of study. Fifty six (56) young Nigerians have so far benefited from this scholarship. The twelve (12) scholarships to be awarded today will bring the total number of beneficiaries of this particular programme to sixty-eight [68]. NLNG will be spending about NGN200million to cater for tuition, accommodation, living expenses and return tickets to and from UK for all beneficiaries; bringing the total expenditure on this scheme since inception to about NGN1.2 billion.”